Sunday, 13 September 2009

Marie's Sunday Six

Departing summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of spring;
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely carolling.
- William Wordsworth, September

It's hard to believe that we are already in the middle of September. The days and weeks just seem to be melting away . . . they so very quickly pass. Already I can see that summer is fading away, and yet we've been really enjoying some beautiful days . . . There's been a lot to smile about this week . . . but then there always is. I find that it's very easy for me to dwell on the beauty and possiblities of each day I'm given . . . that is a blessing to be able to do that. I truly wish everyone could . . .

The courage to tell you all what I've been up to these past months with my weight loss journey and the lovely comments and support you've all give me in my adventure. It was not easy to let everyone know and I had been building up my courage for weeks. Every time some commented that they didn't know how I could eat the things I did and not be the size of a barn, it niggled at my conscience. I do eat and taste every single thing I post on this page. It would be impossible to be able to write about it if I didn't. Tasting is one thing though, and gorging is another. I leave the gorging to Todd and am happy with just a taste. Life is beautiful. No naughty foods anymore, or banned tastes . . . just enjoying my life and all it has to offer me, including tasty treats, difference being, I no longer have the urge to eat the whole cake! That makes me smile and so do each of you and your "Happy" thoughts!

One of the blessings of having lost a good sum of weight, is that I feel much better and have a lot more energy. I went bowling with the Young Women on Thursday evening and we had a really good time. I had not been bowling in a very long time, probably 15 years or longer even! In Canada where I come from the bowling balls are very small and it's a lot easier. Here the balls are all big and you have to stick your fingers in the holes, which seemed quite hard to me, but I managed somehow and actually had a lot of fun, even if I did almost follow the ball down the alley on several occasions . . . whoops! I think Todd and I should do this once in awhile ourselves. It would be great fun and think of the exercise! My score was not all that great, but oh well . . . I wasn't in it to win, just to have fun, and that . . . I did!!

I discovered GU Naughtie's buckets this week. Oh my, but they are good and naughty too! They come in two flavours . . . Rocky Road and Millionaire Flap Jacks. Of course I had to get both . . . just so I could compare notes, you know. Perfect little bites and very tasty, although I found that just a nibble was quite sufficient . . . eating a whole one was actually rather quite sickly sweet. A little nibble though, was quite . . . quite satisfying! From the way the buckets are going down, I'd say that Todd is enjoying them as well!

My new Kari Jobe album. I just love the music of this very talented young woman. She is an international worship and song leader from Dallas Texas. The words and melodies she writes are so very beautiful. When I listen to them I feel the presence of the spirit and they fill my soul with joy. I think music should do that. It should fill your soul with joy and beauty and draw you closer to God. My favourite song on the album is the Revelation Song. If you haven't heard the voice of this beautifully talented woman, you really should make an effort to hear her . . . it will bring a smile to your face too, of that I am sure. It's so very beautiful.

A Bouquet of late summer blooms on a window sill. How can that not make you smile? It won't be long now and the garden will be filled with nothing but dry blooms and seed heads . . . the colour of summer is quickly fading and being replaced with browns and golds . . . The teasle which just a few weeks ago was heads of purples waving in the sunlight is now wearing dry brown heads, which are beautiful in their own way. Now the job of preparing the garden for winter begins in earnest . . . with clearing away of old and dried up plants, mulching the flower beds and covering them up for the winter head. Each seed head reminds me of the promise of the spring and summer that await us in the months ahead . . . but first winter, which brings it's own special joys. There is much to love and find joy in, in each season of the year, don't you think?

Spectacular sunsets. Already I am walking home from work nights in a darkening sky . . . most evenings this week my walk has been accompanied with the delights of a spectacular sunset. How very beautiful a way to cap off a day . . . the sky a palate of precious golds and purples . . . the birds softly calling out their goodnight melodies to each other from every limb and branch of the shrubs and trees as I walk past . . . oh, it is a good time to reflect on the day just spent and all that has been good in it . . . life is indeed beautiful.

And there you have it, my Sunday Six Smilemakers for this past week. I hope that you were able to find something to smile about over the last seven days and that your week ahead will be blessed in much the same way.

I had to work last night and so I made Todd and I a quick supper before I left for work in the late afternoon. These were very tasty indeed. Todd does love him some pork chops. The sweet chili sauce gives them a nice zippy flavour and beautiful colour and the sweet potatoes . . . well, not only are sweet potatoes full of antioxidents and vitamin C, but they are pretty delicious too and go oh so very well with pork! The quantities given are for two servings, but can easily be multiplied to serve more.

*Chili Pork Chops and Sweet Potato Mash*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

This tasty dish is quick and tasty. Adding ginger to the sweet potatoes gives them an extra special zing and the green from the chives makes it really colourful!

2 medium to large sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger-root
1 TBS chopped fresh chives
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large pork loin chops
sweet red chili sauce

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F, and pre-heat the grill to medium high. Wash the sweet potatoes and then dry them well. Place them into the heated oven, directly on the rack. Bake them for about 30 minutes, depending on their size. Once they feel tender to the touch, remove from the oven. (I gently squeeze them with a oven gloved hand and if they yield to gentle pressure, they are done) Peel off the skins. (they should slip right off) Place into a bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the grated ginger-root and the chives. Season with some salt and pepper.

While the potatoes are baking, lay the pork chops onto a grill pan. Season lightly on both sides and brush with some sweet chili sauce. Place under the grill and grill until th emeat is nicely browned on both sides and the chops are cooked through, brushing occasionally with more sweet chili sauce. When done the fat should be crispy and the chops juicy and glazed with the chili sauce.

Divide the sweet potato mash between two heated plates and place a chop on each. Serve immediately, garnished with some chive spears.

We like to have a salad of mixed sweetn salad leaves, spring onion and tomatoes with this.

I made Todd a delicious Plum Bread and Butter Pudding for his dessert. He really enjoyed this and the taste I had of it was absolutely fabulous! Want the recipe so you can make some for yourself? Go HERE.


  1. Hi Marie, will you be a love and nip over to my blog and see if you can help? I am trying to perfect a heavenly pink lemon cake and thought I could borrow your expertise on the subject! Its all for a good cause, ‘The help whip cancer appeal’
    Thanks in advance!

  2. Oh the sweet potato mash looks so good! I will have to make that soon.

  3. I am so in awe of your resolve to keep cooking those delightful meals while trying to watch your food intake. I'm afraid that when I'm doing that everyone in my family suffers as well. I'm not very good at cooking something I won't get to kudos to you dear friend, you are a stronger willed person than I.

  4. What a wonderful six you do have today. Hope your day is a wonderful one!

  5. That look delicious. I have added it to my ever growing list of recipies to try. Many thanks.

  6. Sweet chili sauce is a favorite of mine on fish! I love that pop it gives....

  7. so, i'm catching up on blogs today as you can see:) my family was in town this weekend for aubrey's baptism and boy have i been busy! soooo, i have a BEAUTIFUL PRICELESS work of art from you in my home now! we love it! it is just gorgeous marie and i love that it is not only beautiful but it was made by the hands of someone i really care about and love. thank you for making it(and of course i'm thankful to my mother in law, cyndi, for thinking of it-she is very thoughtful!). i just wanted to tell you how much we love it. you are so talented!

    and woohoo, you mentioned dallas, texas! yeehaw! :)

  8. Such great thoughts and things to be thankful always. I hope your Sunday at church was good. I just got a calling this week to the RS presidency as the Sec't the only position I haven't ever held in RS. Looking forward to it as the other ladies are such dear friends. The lady I am replacing is moving to Beijing and so they have been waiting and waiting to call me until they were closer to their move date. I was beginning to think they had pegged me as over the hill or something. It will be nice to get working in the ward again.

    It is nice to appreciate each season and it is definitely changing now, isn't it?

  9. Wonderful list Marie! Those flowers are gorgeous. I know, I can't believe that it is Fall! Where did the summer go?

    Good job with your weight loss. That is a big accomplishment. I think it's great that you taste everything you make - I think it would be torture to make such wonderful things and not be able to enjoy them!

    I hope you had a wonderful Sunday!


  10. I am glad that you always find so many things to smile about. Your smiles make me smile too.

    The chops and sweet potato mash sound delicious...I will have to try them.

    It is late. Austin took a nap today so I couldn't get him to sleep until after 10:00pm. I haven't had a minute to do my Sunday six today... maybe I can do a short post now.

    I am sending love, Lura

  11. Hi Marie, well I have just left the kitrchen table eating the Pork chop and mash with ginger and chives (Its fantastic) thought Id have a go with what your eating ( healthy) I liked the cooking for two----must try this for a dinner party---that sweet mash is still lingering---just beautiful
    Hope your mum goes ok take care Jeanette Australia


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